Wednesday, 22 June 1988
Seanad Eireann Debate
Mr. Lanigan: It is intended to take Items Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 today. Item No. 4 will be taken between 6.30 p.m. and 8 p.m. We will take the Housing Bill today and at some stage during the day we can discuss whether we will resume the Radio and Television Bill and the Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Bill. The House will adjourn at 10 o'clock tonight.
Mr. Ferris: The Leader of the House says he is taking the Housing Bill today. Is it just Second Stage? There will be amendments from the Labour Party to this Bill and I do not want to have it rushed through today or tonight. We want to know now exactly what programme the Leader of the House has for this legislation. Is it proposed to conclude Second Stage today?
Mr. B. Ryan: I reiterate what Senator Ferris has said. Another matter I will have to take up at another time is that I would like precise clarification on the intention of the Government side with regard to the Housing Bill. Is it proposed to complete Second Stage today and when is it proposed to take Committee Stage and Report Stage? I want to assure the Government that not only will I have  substantial amendments on Committee Stage, but I also anticipate having an equally substantial number of amendments on Report Stage.
The proper way is to separate each Stage by a substantial period of time to enable each Stage to be taken and prepared comprehensively, which is the way to deal with all legislation. It behoves the Leader of the House to make it precisely clear and not tell us we will see later on and we will have the Whips' consultations later. I do not want to claim to speak for my own group but I know they have been dissatisfied in the past with uncertainties and lack of clarity. Can the Leader of the House tell us what he proposes to do? Does he intend to take the Radio and Television Bill at some stage today or is it simply there in the unlikely event of the debate on the Housing Bill finishing? Can he also tell us when is it proposed to adjourn this evening?
Professor Murphy: A Chathaoirligh, I propose that Item No. 8 be added to the Order of Business and I hope you will let me explain why I think it should be so added. The matters mentioned there are of perennial concern. As Senators will know, at one stage that item was very much on top of the Order of Business but it has been sliding down for quite some time. I suggest that it is very urgent that we should discuss it now. Notwithstanding what has been said earlier, there is a large question mark over what people in this House really mean by the phrase “forces of occupation” in the context of 1988.
Mr. Ross: That is for you to judge when I have made it, a Chathaoirligh, not to anticipate, I suspect. There was a procedural difficulty about putting motions on the Order Paper about subjects related to this between you, a Chathaoirligh, and me. It seems that some of those motions which I put down were ruled out of order for a reason which I do not understand. Under Standing Order 27 you ruled out of order certain motions which I put on the Order Paper.
Mr. Lanigan: The Order of Business remains as I have said. Items Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 are being ordered for today. If the wish of the House is that Committee Stage and Report Stage of the Housing Bill should not be taken today, then so be it. I think we should leave it open and consultations can take place later on  today on whether we will take Committee and Report Stages.
Mr. Ferris: That is the problem. If Senator Ryan and myself happen to be out of the House for five minutes, the remaining Members in the House can decide to take all Stages of the Housing Bill, as happened on another Bill previously. We want to co-operate.
Mr. Lanigan: I said if the House wishes we can take all Stages today and if the House wishes not to take all Stages, so be it. At some stage later in the day if the Whips decide to take Committee and Report Stages, then the House decides.
Mr. Ferris: I might be out of order but because of the way it is now being put it makes it impossible for those of us who have an interest in this Bill to make a contribution or to be here all the time. At times that is impossible, much as I try.
An Cathaoirleach: Senator Ferris, I want to clear the Order of Business. The consultations which went on since 1977 between the Whips went on outside and we did not have this pettiness on the floor here every day. I appreciate that you have a problem. It is not for me to fix it for you. It is for you to go along and deal with the Whips.
Mr. Ferris: When you clear the Order of Business here today it could so happen that in two hours' time those remaining in this House could change everything that you have Chaired. I want to ensure that this does not happen with the Housing Bill. I want the Housing Bill to be passed as quickly as possible. It has taken long enough to get it——
Mr. W. Ryan: I have always gone out of my way to inform the three Members who represent the Labour Party in this House and I am not going to do it in future. I am under no obligation to do it. I consult the Leader and Whips of Fine Gael and the Independents because they have groups. Out of courtesy to the Labour Party, I have always done so.
Mr. W. Ryan: Senator Ferris said that if he was out of the House the people in the House could change the business. That never happens. If a debate collapses for want of speakers it is not the Government's fault and that is what happened last week.
Murphy, John A.
Robb, John D.A.
Ross, Shane P.N.
|Bohan, Edward Joseph.
Haughey, Seán F.
O'Toole, Martin J.
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